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Instituto Fazendo Historia

We support children and adolescents separated from their families so that they can build powerful life stories.

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Mental Health
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Adoption & Foster Care
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The Fazendo História Institute, founded in 2005, based in São Paulo and operating in more than ten Brazilian states, was born out of the realization that children and adolescents separated from their families due to abuse, neglect and violence, living temporarily in foster care, need individualized and professional care in order to grow and develop at this stage of their lives. Our mission is to collaborate with the emotional, cognitive and mental development of children and adolescents, in order to strengthen them so that they can transform their life stories, breaking the vicious circles of abandonment and violence to which they were subjected.

The Institute was founded by four psychologists who aimed to create, systematize and strengthen methodologies so that children and adolescents in institutional care could be truly heard and have their personal and family stories valued. The Institute believes that every child and teenager has the right to full development, within the family and community and operates based on five core values: commitment to children and adolescents, the right to life stories, transparency in relationships, sharing knowledge, and qualified volunteer work.

All work is guided by three main legal documents and parameters: the Child and Adolescent Statute, the National Plan for the Promotion, Protection, and Defense of the Right of Children and Adolescents to Family and Community Life (2006), and Technical Guidelines for care services (2009). It also seeks international references to inspire the creation of best practices, such as the United Nations Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children (2009). The legislation stipulates that the period of foster care, although temporary, should be restorative. However, in order for the reference legislation to actually become a practice in the realm of child and adolescent rights protection, a new mentality must be built among all those involved in this network, breaking away from a history of charity work and building a highly qualified work based on an individualized approach that takes into account the singularities of each child and adolescent for their better care and referral.

The Institute operates through the following programs:

Making My History (Fazendo Minha História): This program trains and supports professionals from care services and volunteers in recovering and documenting the life stories of children and adolescents, using literature as a mediator in this process.

Training (Formação): This program provides training for managers, technicians, and educators, aiming to professionalize care services.

With Care (Com Tato): This program offers free and individualized psychotherapy to children and adolescents.

We Group (Grupo Nós): This program supports and assists teenagers in the process of leaving care services and transitioning to independent living.

Emotional Sponsorship (Apadrinhamento Afetivo): This program facilitates family and community involvement for children and adolescents with fragile or broken family ties, who have limited chances of adoption or family reintegration. This is achieved through volunteers committed to the role of emotional sponsors.

The Institute also runs a program for Foster Families, providing exceptional and temporary care for children separated from their families. These children are placed in volunteer families formed and supervised by the Institute's team until they can be returned to their own homes or placed with substitute families. Additionally, the Institute has an Advocacy department, established in 2017 to address the need to advocate for the rights of children and adolescents separated from their families by coordinating networks, services, and people to enforce the law and help build public policies to safeguard these rights

The commitment to knowledge sharing has led the Institute to systematize all its programs in publications, videos, activity sheets and other materials. Thus, our methodologies can be replicated throughout Brazil and even in other countries such as Costa Rica, Portugal and Argentina. All of this material is freely available on the IFH website and yields important fruits, such as the autonomous replication of Fazendo Minha História methodology in various municipalities throughout Brazil.

Since 2005, the Instituto have received numerous prestigious awards, including the Rumos da Educação Award from Itaú Social and the “ Prêmio Criança” Award from Fundação Abrinq, both in 2009. It also received the Pontinho de Cultura Award from the Ministry of Culture in 2009 and 2010, the CLAUDIA Award from Editora Abril, and the Social Technology Award from Fundação Banco do Brasil, both in 2011. The Institute was a recipient of the FIES (Itaú Social Excellence Fund) in 2011 and 2015, the “Todos por um Brasil de Leitores” Award from MINC in 2015, and was a finalist for the Visionaris Award in 2016, which recognizes outstanding social entrepreneurs. Additionally, it received the Best NGOs Award from Instituto Doar in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 including being named the Best NGO in the Southeast region in 2018. The Institute received support from Criança Esperança in these years: 2008, 2009, 2017, 2020 and 2022. Additionally, in this year of 2023, the institute received the Chico Xavier Humanitarian Recognition Award and the Silver Medal from the Betinho Award. In 2016 and 2018, it won grants from Fundação Salvador Arena to systematize the methodologies of two of its main programs, Training and Emotional Sponsorship. During these years, the Institute's team also authored several children's books, primarily focused on children and adolescents in care, which features stories from 29 children and adolescents who have been or are in care services, narrated by the children themselves, as well as by family members, friends, volunteers, or professionals from the care services.

Over these 18 years, more than 19,000 children and adolescents have already benefited from our programs. We have worked with more than 1,500 foster services partners throughout Brazil, formed about 8,000 volunteers dedicated to the programs, trained over 15,000 professionals, and distributed over 50,000 books to foster service partners. In addition, in the last 6 years, we have received more than 100 children through our foster family service, with currently 32 families trained and able to receive children from 0 to 6 years old, thus avoiding institutional care and promoting a unique and individualized care experience.


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